Patrick Meyer ” the best thing a vigneron/ne can do, is to plant trees, lots of them. ”
The Summer BLOG
Kicked in …….
First up was a visit to Bruno and Elena Schueller, tucked up high in Husseren-les-Chateaux – not a bad start as we haven’t completely finished the Spring Blog, which you can find right here in STORIES …..
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NOW – The Summer Salons – three salons, spanning a three day weekend 17-19th July.
Alsace has become the new Loire, well, at least for this July. The bottleneck of salons is really a result of the opportunities of scheduling these three established wine-fairs, coming out from the waves of CoVid confinements.
On the calendar is the 7th edition of the Salon des Vins Libres. This is a biannual fair which started in 2008, under the energy and solidarity of the “gang of four” and their partners/families – Christian Binner, Jean-Pierre Frick, Patrick Meyer and Bruno Schueller. This is the cornerstone natural wine fair held in Alsace, with a cast of French winemakers and representation from Italy, Spain and Georgia. There is serious discussion going on to turn Salon des Vins Libres into an annual event.
The third edition of d’Summer Fascht takes place on the Sunday and Monday of the weekend. This is also (currently) a bi-annual fair. As the group of natural wine makers in Alsace has grown, so has the capacity to organise a major fair focused on Alsace natural wine. The seeds (grape pips) of this fair started with “offs” tagged onto the Salon des Vins Libres salons from 2016. In late 2019 the Association des Vins Libres d’Alsace (AVLA) was set up to promote the wines of its members, which number 40+ at the last count. AVLA now organise d’Summer Fascht fairs. We had the utmost pleasure in running an AVLA table at WineCallSF in San Francisco, in November 2019. This was AVLA’s first international event (chuffed to be involved).
The third fair on this busy (and hopefully sunny) weekend is VertigVineux, which I belief is in its third, annual edition. Set up by a group of winemakers around Ostheim, including La Grange de l’Oncle Charles and Clé de Sol, the salon has 27 winemakers from all over France. The ambiance here is definitely in the neo-autonomists approach to winemaking and country life.
With the natural wine scene in Alsace practically bursting at the scenes, it is no surprise to see multiple initiatives that are not all falling under the same central group. A sign of energy and opportunity.
Lots more information on the organisation of the salons at –
Instagram for Salons des Vins Libres
Web site Salon des Vins Libres web
Instagram for d’Summer Fascht
VertigVineux is somewhere in the dark corridors of facebook VertigVineux
And here are the posters – if you want a clean, jpeg version of any of these for your kitchen wall, fermentation room, bar, etc – email us at [email protected]
– the project –
The Lost In Alsace Project is focused on two main areas; providing a platform for “les vignerons artisans d’Alsace” and secondly, a follow up and reporting of the major events, twists and turns and initiatives that shape what matters with Alsace wine today. As with any “old world” wine region, there are plenty of issues, degrees of bull-shit, and bad attitudes stuck in the industrial agricultural recent past. We will be giving all that sort of stuff a body swerve as we firmly focus on all that vibrant, forward looking, energy that is currently buzzing in the region.
We are big supporters of producers who practice organic or biodynamic husbandry in the vineyards. Vignerons who are looking after the earth. In fact, that is the foundation of our interest. And we love winemakers that carry this attitude through to techniques in the cellar; with natural fermentations, the use of traditional and non-traumatising physical methods, and a healthy disrespect for the use of additives. These are the foundations that allow winemakers the opportunity to express a sense of terroir, a sense of wine that comes from a place, from a time with the input of human skills and attitudes. With a lot of attitude. That takes us into a space where we are mainly focused on, what can loosely be termed, natural wine.
And there is more to it than that, as the Lost in Alsace Project is interested in the community around natural wine; the winemakers, the producer associations, the retail outlets, the wine bars and restaurants, the importers, the distributors, the journalists, the authors, the publishers, the barrel makers, the artists doing labels and posters, the wine fairs and salons, the team at RAISIN, and most importantly all the workers involved in making this all whirr and rattle along. And, of course the humble masses who buy and drink the stuff.
Three shades of red from Lucas Rieffel – captured by Mona Neilson – website here